Adding injury to insult: If you got laid off, then you'll probably get sick, too

If you lose your job -- and, by extension, your health insurance -- you're in for the third leg of a triple whammy: getting sick. Getting fired, or laid off after your department (or entire company) shuts down, can be as hazardous to your health as to your ego.

The latest issue of Demographyincludes a study that surveyed workers who lost their jobs in 1999, 2001, and 2003, and found that many reported health issues after losing their jobs. Kate Strully, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation scholar at the Harvard School of Public Health , used data in her study from a U.S. report surveying Americans on their employment status and self-reported health. She found that, among those who hadn't reported health issues before losing their jobs, an astonishing 80% were diagnosed with high blood pressure, arthritis, and other ailments within 18 months after being shown the door. Medical issues were more common among blue-collar workers.